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Monday, November 5, 2012

I Support the Left, Though I'm Leaning to the Right...

If you’re coming downtown, bring a sharp stick with you.

The skyways, a second-floor Habitrail-like system linking buildings together and designed to keep Minneapolitans out of the snow and within walking distance of their desks (to make money) and fine retail shops (to spend money), are beginning to fill.

Let the seasonal clogging begin.

And let your notions of how things work fall by the wayside.

I don’t know what it is, this need for the Christmas shoppers to walk down the center of a skyway surely wide enough for everyone, but there you have it. Heavily weighed down by coats, boots, purses, and the odd toddler or two, the urge to run screaming, throwing elbows and coffee, sweeps over me, and I am left trembling in its wake.

I am not a violent person, no matter what you’ve read.

There are rules to the skyway, dagnabit! They are simple, easy-to-follow and rather intuitive, assuming you’ve brought your common sense with you.

But for those who know people who have turned their common sense in for, say, a 48-ounce Slurpee or the like, perhaps you could pass this along: in Minneapolis, like in so many other upstanding cities, we walk on the right. Ergo, if you are walking down a hall and it appears that if you continue on as you are that you will be hit head-on by a large crowd, odds are good that you are on the wrong side of said hall.

Move over!

It boggles the mind, how many people will continue to walk on the wrong side, pushing strollers, talking on phones, seemingly oblivious that people are stepping out of their way to avoid hitting them.

Perhaps they are all from other countries. Perhaps they all drive on the left and not the right. Rules are, after all, made by the people that use them. In Minneapolis, we stand to the right when riding the escalator to allow the chronically late and the terminally ambitious to pass us on the left. We allow the elderly and handicapped access to the seats at the front of the bus. We offer to buy drinks for the poor and writer-ly among us…

But wait! What if not everyone knew these things? What if, say, Monday was our day to hang our rugs out on the balcony and beat the dirt out of them? What if everyone knew it, absolutely everyone knew it, but suddenly a large influx of Aleutians move into our building and in their world Monday was the day to clean a week’s worth of fish out on the balcony? Before you know it, there are rugs covered with fish entrails! Fish covered with cat hair and boot droppings! Chaos ensues, words are exchanged, and dinner is ruined!

Holy Hannah! Run for the shelters!



Breathe in. Breathe out. That’s what I need: deep breaths, tolerance and understanding.

And if that doesn’t work, I’ll need a sharp stick.



* One line among many from the song “The Politician” by Cream

36 comments:

vanilla said...

Simple, intuitive good sense. Which is exactly the reason so many people are clogging the pathway to your destination.

Daisy said...

Sometimes a sharp stick is the only thing that gets attention! Or a nudge with a bumper for those folks who saunter across the street with their nose buried in their ipods or whatever they use to text others.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

You need a few signs posted....Walk to the right dagnabit.... Seriously, I think we have some of those folks over here. They tend to walk on the roads instead of the sidewalks. Someone must have dropped them on their heads when they were infants.

Shelly said...

I am admitting something here I've never told anyone. I walk fast. In the malls during holidays when people clog the walkways like plaque in an artery, it makes me want to walk even faster.

My secret fantasy is to use a Taser on those who don't follow the rules of common sense. I imagine it, yes I do.

There you have it.

Shelly said...

(But I would never act upon it...)

Buttons said...

Yup on the right here to but I do carry a big sharp stick when I walk here you know bears and all. Not the people kind need a bigger stick for those ones:) B

fmcgmccllc said...

Everyone knows you do laundry on Monday.

Wrong-way walkers are cousins of stop-in the middle of walking-to check my cell phone people. They are both vile but none are so evil as the I need a double wide stroller to carry my packages and my like minded friend will walk side by side with me while our spawn of the devil toddlers create havoc in our trail.

Happy Thanksgiving, just wait til Christmas.

Pearl said...

Let the revolution begin!

Ms Sparrow said...

I liken those folks to the ones who stand directly in front of the opening elevator door and try to enter before anybody gets out!

middle child said...

I think you and I should put out a book of common sense rules. I am soooooo with you on people's lack of concern of those around them.

Eva Gallant said...

Dagnabit, you hit the nail on the head!

sage said...

And here, I thought this was a political blog post instead of a rant on the English walking on the wrong side of the skywalks (which are really cool, btw, but in Minneapolis, you them or you'd be really cold).

Then again, maybe this was a political rant...

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

Ah...just like our bike trails here. There are rules, people! Not to mention the store aisles clogged- especially on the first of the month- by entitled jackwagons standing. Stock still. Right in the dam middle of the aisle.
I need to borrow your stick, Pearlie.

fishducky said...

I don't carry a sharp stick, but I DO "accidentally" trip a lot of people with my cane!

Austan said...

My British Grandpop walked with a cane and used it as a sort of traffic conductor. Nobody, whether two-legged or 4-wheeled escaped his notice and his correction. It was embarassing as a child, but now I see his point and I intend to do the same. Only now with a walker and pointy sticks attached at knee level.

GDad said...

Isn't that example of Mondays from Dale Carnegie?

bill lisleman said...

I'm impressed that you found that Cream song. I don't remember it getting high on the charts.
So that's what people do with their common sense - trade it for slurpees. You know your area was a big time fur trading place so people do need something to trade.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Tourists. Pfft. Clueless bunch of folk. The rules should be posted in large print and enforced--maybe even using our military resources or GOP-style with a well armed (and concealed) citizen army...let's earmark some spending and fix this important issue.

The Six-Fingered Monkey said...

I do not wish to offend you, but Minneapolis has never been on my "List of 25 US Cities to See Before I Die" (actual list). However, after reading this post I talked to my dear friend Google and he (yes, he's a guy) told me all about the Minneapolis Skyway.

I have now added your fine city to my list (knocking off Lincoln, Nebraska).

By the way, a sharp stick has always worked for me!

Stephen Hayes said...

You'd might as well give up on the tolerance and understanding and progress directly to the sharp stick.

Pearl said...

So my take away here is YES on the sharp stick, YES on common sense. :-)

And you know, it's possible that the fish/rug story might be from Dale Carnegie. Was the the Win Friends and Influence People guy? My dad had that book. Did I read it?! Yikes. Maybe I did... I also have a dim memory of a PBS special where the Italians were having a difficult time with their newest immigrants, primarily from Southeast Asia, and they almost came to blows... It wasn't until they had a big town meeting and the Southeast Asians were made to realize that the locals had ways they should adapt to ensure serenity that they all had a good laugh and at least THAT particular problem was solved.

esbboston said...

That would be a reaLLy cool invention: I read something and then you (unknowingly & a grand distance away) momentarily become violent. Like a grand metaphysical marionette, hahahahahaha.
Question: But how would I know that it worked? ... Oh, well, back to reading yer stery, Miss.

esbboston said...

My new nickname for Shelly is 'The Hurried Texas Tase Her'.

Gigi said...

".....assuming you’ve brought your common sense with you....." and right there's your problem; most people routinely leave their common sense at home. *sigh*

Kinda like the three (yes, THREE) people that tried to jump in front of my forward moving car today.

jenny_o said...

We have no escalators since the Woolworth's shut down about thirty years ago, but if we did, I most certainly would stand to the right. We have no bus system since it shut down twenty years ago, but if we did, I most certainly would allow the elderly and handicapped access to seats at the front of the bus. And I don't live in Minneapolis, but if I did, I MOST CERTAINLY would offer to buy you a drink, because you have The Common Sense and it is surely needed in this world! Keep on writin'!

Wonderful post.

Daisy said...

Sounds much like the grocery aisle blockers we have here who park their carts in the center of the aisle where no one can get around them. Poor dears are just so oblivious! The stick sounds like a good idea.

R. Jacob said...

ack!

Lin said...

Well, just be glad they are walking. It could be worse--they could be driving.

I'm not sure who started this, but here in Chicago, if you want to go somewhere in your car and someone is in your way, you just turn your wheel and gun it--forcing the other driver to a game of chicken. You see, they back off and you get where you want to go. It's perfect!

Sigh.

I need a big stick for the front of my car!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Delores sent me over, and I'm glad she did! I always veer to the right in shopping malls and walking trails. Though It does get frustrating when people with walkers pass me up now and then! Julie

HermanTurnip said...

Hey! Never underestimate the power of a Slurpee. Those frozen concoctions hold much sway in my idiocy levels.

The Elephant's Child said...

I almost feel I should be whispering. I walk on the left (and we drive on the left too). I will however adjust as required to foreign customs.

jeanie said...

I am a dagnabbit furriner who finds it annoying when people dawdle on the right.

I will remember, should I ever visit your beautiful berg, to watch for sharp sticks!

The Jules said...

Wasn't it Al Capone who said you get more with common sense and a pointy stick that you do with just common sense?

River said...

Want to know something I hate more than this?
People who walk diagonally across a pedestrian crossing cutting off everyone else who is walking straight across.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Those who impede foot traffic by walking on the wrong side of the walkway aren't nearly as annoying as those groups that hold freaking family reunions in the middle of the walkway and manage to block traffic in both directions. I'm forever running into these multi-family, multi-kiddie, multi-cart groups in the aisles of our local stores. Hmmmm, maybe I should strap on a football helmet and REALLY "run" into them...

Pat said...

My pet hate is bicycles on the pavement.
SO dangerous to the frail and elderly.